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Regional grocer looks to AI for pricing, promotions

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A new platform is helping Harps Food Stores create more relevant promotions.

The supermarket operator, which operates 87 stores across Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas, has described its print circular its largest advertising expense. In a move to make the circulars more relevant for shoppers, Harps Food Stores is using an artificial intelligence-based platform from Daisy Intelligence Corp.

The platform analyzes years of collected transactional information, and delivers insights into customer buying behavior. This analysis also uncovers specific, actionable product and marketing recommendations, and reveals which products should be featured in its weekly circulars, according to the company.

“We use Daisy Intelligence solution to analyze customer transactions and track the relationship between every item in every customer’s basket,” said David Ganoung, VP of marketing at Harps. “Daisy’s ability to provide us with the associated sales on every item within the individual transactions helps us to promote the items most pertinent to our customers.”

This data is also helping the chain to optimize its pricing and promotional efforts. “Daisy’s A.I. enables us to analyze Harp’s transactional data on a giant scale,” Ganoung added. “As a result, this significant improvement in promotional effectiveness supports our ability to meet the needs of our shoppers by keeping our prices competitive, and enhancing our profitability.”

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Target, Shipt ready to launch same-day delivery

BY Marianne Wilson

Target is moving quickly to leverage its $550 million acquisition of Shipt.

The discounter announced that it will debut same-day delivery services via Shipt on Feb. 1 across 57 stores in South Florida and Birmingam, Alabama. It will move quickly to expand the service, making it available at nearly half its 1,834 stores by the end of the first quarter (February 12), and the majority of its stores in time for the 2018 holiday season.

“Our teams moved at lightning speed to get Target up and running on Shipt’s platform in less than eight weeks,” said John Mulligan, COO, Target. “And we’re not stopping there—we’ll keep expanding….making Target the first retailer to be able to offer same-day delivery in all major markets across the country.”

Shipt is a membership-based service, with an annual fee of $99. (To celebrate the addition of Target to the Shipt marketplace, new Shipt members who sign up prior to expansion will receive an annual membership for $49.)

Members use Shipt’s online marketplace to browse participating local retailers’ aisles online and purchase from a full selection of grocery and household items. Shipt’s army of shoppers then take the orders, visit the stores to buy the products and deliver them to the user on the same day, usually within just a few hours.

Target will kick-off same-day delivery with an assortment of groceries, essentials, home, electronics and other. By the end of 2019, same-day delivery will include all major product categories at Target, according to Shipt.

Target’s acquisition of Shipt was one of the largest in the retailer’s history. It came as Walmart and Amazon were expanding their own same-day delivery offerings.

“This acquisition will mark an important milestone in an ambitious strategy we laid out in early 2017, which included strengthening Target’s supply chain and digital capabilities to make shopping at Target easier, more reliable and more convenient for our guests,” Mulligan stated in a blog on the retailer’s website back in December. “By acquiring Shipt, we’ll be able to take advantage of our network of stores and Shipt’s technology platform and shopper community to quickly offer same-day delivery to millions of our guests.”

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Walgreens names one of its own SVP pharmacy, healthcare

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens on Thursday promoted Rick Gates, most recently group vice president of pharmacy, to the role of senior vice president of pharmacy and healthcare, reporting to Richard Ashworth, president of operations. In his new role, Gates will lead Walgreens’ commercial development and sales, contracting, pharma development, pharmacy supply chain and clinical programs and alliances.

“Rick’s 22 years of experience, grounded in pharmacy and operations, position him well to bring together our commercial and pharmacy strategies and assess the impact to our patients and stores,” Ashworth said.

Gates joined Walgreens after graduating from pharmacy school and spent most of his career within store and pharmacy operations before joining Walgreens’ support office. Since then, he has proven instrumental in the implementation of innovative product offerings and operational efficiency programs, Ashworth said.

Gates led Walgreens’ Western pharmacy operations and was responsible for pharmacy integration during the Duane Reade acquisition. He also led a team ensuring operational enablement and execution of strategic programs.

He also serves as a board member with the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation, University of Iowa College of Pharmacy Leadership Board and the Lake Forest Swim Club Board.

Gates received a B.S. in pharmacy from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He is an active member of the American Pharmacists Association, NCPDP, NASP and the University of Iowa Alumni Association.

 

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